109.45 -0.05 (-0.05%)
Pre-Market: 8:27AM EDT
|Bid||0.00 x 3000|
|Ask||0.00 x 800|
|Day's Range||109.45 - 109.60|
|52 Week Range||109.16 - 114.38|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.98|
|Expense Ratio (net)||0.20%|
The US consumer price index (or CPI) for September was released today at 8:30 AM EST. The inflation numbers were weaker-than-expected, with the CPI rising just 0.1% sequentially compared to 0.2% expected by economists. In the 12 months through the end of September, the CPI rose 2.3%, which was lower than a 2.7% rise in August.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index (DIA) tumbled more than 800 points yesterday as Treasury yields (TLT) (AGG) continued their upward march. Rising bond yields and signs of firming inflation have spooked investors. Investors worry that because the era of near-zero rates has ended, companies’ margins might get squeezed.
For the last few days, the bond markets have seen sell-offs due to stronger-than-expected economic data and hawkish comments from the Federal Reserve. On October 3, Fed chair Jerome Powell said, “We may go past neutral, but we’re a long way from neutral at this point, probably.” These comments likely mean that more rate hikes are ahead. Higher yields are usually negative for equities because companies’ borrowing costs increase as the risk-free rate goes up. Higher rates might deter some investment and increase the cost of borrowing, which could impact companies’ earnings and stock prices.
The U.S. economy is firing on all cylinders, which is generally good news for investors. The U.S. unemployment rate is at its lowest level in four decades at 3.7 percent. While that low unemployment rate is great news for American workers, it’s not necessarily great news for U.S. companies looking to grow their businesses.
Increasing interest rates spooked investors again today as US stocks dropped sharply amid rising Treasury yields (TLT). The PPI (producer price index) increased 0.2% sequentially in September after an unexpected decline in August. The core PPI, which excludes food, energy, and trade services, rose 0.4%, which is its largest rise since January.
The demand for gold in India (INDA) was lukewarm in the first half of the year, mainly due to stronger equity markets and higher gold prices measured in rupees. This event caused local gold prices to rise, even with the price decline measured in US dollars. According to the latest Assocham-World Gold Council (or WGC) report, the gold demand in India is likely to surge 25% in the second half due to the improved purchasing power of farmers.
Investors are keenly awaiting the US CPI (consumer price inflation) figures. The markets have placed huge importance on inflation figures (TIP) in 2018, as inflation has been one of the most important deciding factors related to the Fed’s future interest rate (TLT) path. The US CPI underwhelmed in August with a 0.2% rise sequentially compared to the 0.3% growth that was expected by economists.
As we’ve learned, stocks saw a sell-off in February after stronger-than-expected wage growth data. If today’s wage growth comes in on the upside, the markets could again go into panic mode. In a tweet, Bill Gross, the “bond king” and manager of Janus Henderson Global Unconstrained Bond Fund, mentioned the pricing out of European and Japanese buyers of Treasuries (BND) as the main reason for the bond sell-off.
The Fed is scheduled to meet on September 25–26. The Fed is widely expected to raise rates by 25 basis points during the meeting. The Fed’s minutes from the last meeting suggested that a September rate hike is more or less certain.
What Does the Market Expect from the August Jobs Report? Fed policymakers are watching job numbers closely. The numbers give them clues about whether the US economy (SPY) (IVV) is strong enough to withstand interest rate hikes.
The fixed-income market has played second fiddle to equities, but there are still areas of opportunity that bond exchange traded fund investors can look to. “The fixed income market remains challenging, ...
Venezuela is a perfect current test case for those who believe gold is a good hedge against hyperinflation. The International Monetary Fund projects Venezuelan inflation to reach one million percent this year. The situation is reminiscent of what historically has been history’s paradigmatic examples of hyperinflation, such as Germany after World War I. In 1922 and 1923, the exchange rate between the German mark and the U.S. dollar (which was pegged to gold) rose from 430-to-1 to 433 billion-to-1.
The Federal Reserve’s annual economic policy symposium starts this Thursday in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Fed chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak on Friday. Investors will be looking closely for any comments about the US economy (IVV), employment, and inflation (TIP), the most important considerations in order for the Fed to decide on the pace and frequency of interest rate hikes.
Indeed, expectations for inflation over the next ten years, derived from 10-year Treasury inflation-protected securities, or TIPs, have barely budged from a 2.1% rate even after the core July consumer-price index, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, came in at 2.4% year over year, the fastest since September 2008. “A collective unwillingness to look beyond the CPI release speaks to our ‘too little, too late’ take on any late-cycle spike in consumer prices,” said Ian Lyngen, head of U.S. rates strategy at BMO Capital Markets, in a Monday research note.
What Will Financial Markets Look for in July's Jobs Report? The numbers give them clues about if the US economy (SPY) (IVV) is strong enough to withstand interest rates hikes. The Fed has already raised interest rates twice this year.
Gold prices (IAU) have been on a losing spree since mid-April due to the US dollar’s strength and diverging monetary policies in the United States (IVV) and the rest of the world. During the congressional testimony, Fed Chair Jerome Powell gave an upbeat assessment of the US (VOO) economy. The assets are attractive when interest rates (TLT) are high because gold doesn’t generate any income.
In the preceding parts of this series, we discussed how gold prices have remained weaker despite escalating trade war fears and geopolitical tensions. Many of these risks stem from the ongoing trade spats, which would create inflationary (TIP) pressures in the economy apart from uncertainty. Gold (GLD) is often seen as an inflation hedge.
It’s a question that has nagged at investors for as long as both asset categories have existed … are stocks the way to go, or bonds? If both, how much of either belong in a portfolio?
Oil prices (USO) soared ~6.0% in the week ended June 22. After its meeting on June 22, OPEC decided to raise its output. However, this increase was lower than what the markets expected.
An inverted yield curve, in which short-term yields (SHY) are higher than long-term yields (TLT), is considered as a warning sign for a future recession. The LEI’s economic model uses the yield spread between the ten-year Treasury bond (IEF) and the federal funds rate (TBF) as one of the components. The May LEI report indicated that this yield spread increased from ~1.2 in April to ~1.3 in May. The use of the term “symmetric” along with the inflation target in the May FOMC meeting minutes led to the increase of yield spreads in May.
The average weekly unemployment claim numbers are used as one of the forward indicators in the Conference Board LEI (Leading Economic Index). Low unemployment levels can indicate that the economy is performing at an optimal level. Recent reports indicate that unemployment levels in the US are moving toward multidecade lows.
Is It Time to Turn Bullish on Gold after Its Recent Weakness? The Consumer Price Inflation (or CPI) for May rose 2.8% annually, its fastest annual pace in more than six years. The PCE (personal consumption expenditure) (CPI), the Fed’s preferred gauge of inflation, has also hit the 2.0% level.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics releases a monthly report that tracks price trends in wholesale markets. The PPI (producer price index) is constructed using the inputs of a monthly survey of industries in the manufacturing sector (XLI). The survey consists of questions that determine changes in raw materials prices, production levels, and finished goods.